Dental fillings are one of the most common dental procedures used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma. Despite their prevalence, many people in Australia still believe that dental fillings are extremely painful. This myth can create anxiety and prevent people from seeking the dental care they need.
In this blog post, we’ll debunk the myths about dental filling pain and provide tips for minimising discomfort during the procedure. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect during a dental filling and be better equipped to manage any discomfort.
Myth #1: Dental fillings are expensive
Many people believe dental fillings to be costly, however, if you require a filling and don’t act immediately, the outcome is far more costly than the filling.
When a filling is required, it means there is active decay inside the tooth, that will continue to grow and encroach on the nerve. As the cavity becomes larger, the required filling also becomes larger, and the long-term prognosis of the tooth is worse.Mermaid Smiles Principle Dentist – Dr Anna Williams
If the cavity becomes too large, it may result in requiring a root canal or an extraction. Both of these options are necessary to remove the infection within the tooth and have higher costs associated with keeping the tooth, or replacing the tooth once it is extracted.
Repairing a cavity with a dental filling today can save you a lot more money and pain in the future.
Myth #2: Dental fillings are extremely painful
Many people in Australia believe that dental fillings are extremely painful. This myth is often perpetuated by past negative experiences or fear of needles. However, the truth is that dental filling procedures have come a long way in recent years, and there are now many pain-management techniques available that make the procedure much more comfortable.
One of the most common methods of pain management during a dental filling is local anaesthesia. The dentist will use a numbing gel on the gum tissue before administering the anaesthetic to make the process as painless as possible. Improved techniques and equipment also mean that the procedure can be done much more quickly and with less discomfort.
It’s important to note that any discomfort during the procedure is usually mild and temporary. Patients may feel some pressure or vibration during the drilling process, but it should not be painful. In fact, most people find that the benefits of having a dental filling far outweigh any temporary discomfort they may experience during the procedure.
By understanding that dental filling procedures are not as painful as many people believe, patients can feel more confident and relaxed when they visit the dentist. In the next section, we’ll explore another common myth about dental fillings.
Myth #3: All dental fillings are the same
Another common myth about dental fillings is that all fillings are the same. In reality, there are different types of dental fillings, each with their own unique properties and benefits.
The three most common types of dental fillings are amalgam, composite, and ceramic. Amalgam fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including silver, mercury, tin, and copper. They have been used for over a century and are known for their durability and affordability. However, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of fillings and may require more tooth structure removal during the preparation process.
Composite fillings are made of a mixture of plastic and glass. They are tooth-coloured, making them a popular choice for filling cavities in visible areas of the mouth. They also require less tooth structure removal than amalgam fillings, making them a more conservative option. However, they are not as durable as amalgam fillings and may need to be replaced more frequently.
Ceramic fillings, also known as porcelain fillings, are made of a ceramic material that is matched to the colour of the surrounding teeth. They are the most aesthetically pleasing option and are often used for filling cavities in front teeth. However, they are the most expensive type of filling and are not as durable as amalgam or composite fillings.
The choice of filling material can affect the level of discomfort during the procedure. Amalgam fillings require more tooth structure removal, which can lead to more discomfort during the preparation process. Composite and ceramic fillings are typically less invasive and may cause less discomfort during the procedure.
It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of each filling material with your dentist to determine which option is best for your specific needs. By understanding the different types of fillings available, patients can make an informed decision about their dental care and feel more confident and comfortable during the filling procedure.
Myth #4: Dental fillings always lead to complications
It’s true that complications can occur with any dental procedure, including dental fillings. However, the risk of complications can be minimised with proper care and maintenance.
Some factors that can increase the risk of complications include poor oral hygiene, pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, and a weakened immune system. It’s important to discuss any pre-existing conditions or concerns with your dentist before the procedure so they can take appropriate precautions.
To prevent or minimise complications, it’s crucial to follow good oral hygiene practices. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and scheduling regular dental check-ups. It’s also important to avoid chewing hard or sticky foods on the treated tooth until it fully heals.
If you experience any pain, sensitivity, or other issues after the procedure, it’s important to contact your dentist right away. They can evaluate the situation and provide any necessary follow-up care to prevent further complications.
By understanding the factors that can increase the risk of complications and taking proper care of your teeth after the procedure, you can minimise the risk of any negative outcome.
Tips for Minimising Discomfort During Dental Fillings
While dental fillings are not typically painful, some patients may experience mild discomfort during the procedure. Here are some tips to help minimise any discomfort:
- Prepare for the procedure: Avoid caffeine before the appointment, as it can make you feel jittery and anxious. Also, be sure to eat a light meal beforehand to prevent nausea or light-headedness.
- Communicate with your dentist: It’s important to communicate with your dentist throughout the procedure to ensure that you are comfortable. If you feel any pain or discomfort, let your dentist know immediately. They can adjust the numbing agent or other pain-management techniques to ensure your comfort.
- Follow post-procedure care instructions: After the procedure, it’s important to follow the post-procedure care instructions provided by your dentist. This may include avoiding hot and cold drinks, taking pain relievers as directed, and avoiding hard or sticky foods until the treated tooth is fully healed.
By following these tips, you can help ensure a comfortable and successful dental filling procedure. Remember, dental fillings are a routine and important part of dental care, and any temporary discomfort is far outweighed by the benefits of restoring your oral health.
If you have any concerns about dental fillings or would like to book an appointment with a dentist, we encourage you to get in touch with Mermaid Smiles. Our team of experienced professionals can help you determine the best course of action for your specific needs.
It’s important to remember that dental fillings are a common and safe procedure that can help maintain the health and function of your teeth. By debunking common myths and following good oral hygiene practices, you can minimise discomfort and potential complications. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mermaid Smiles for personalised care and attention.